Simply the BEST (Super Easy & Soft) Playdough Recipe

INSIDE: Looking for a super easy homemade playdough recipe that will create soft, long-lasting playdough? It’s here! Make this no-cook playdough for your kids – big and small – for hours of engaging sensory play!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

Why I prefer homemade playdough?

When I first started including playdough into our sensory play routine I always would use store bought playdough. And I would have issues with it getting crumbly and making a huge mess and it never lasted as long as it I thought it should no matter how I stored it. After giving up on play dough for a while I reintroduced it using a homemade recipe and I instantly became a fan of playdough!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

In my experience, homemade play dough doesn’t crumble as much and store bought and last much longer! Plus, when you make playdough at home you can make much more of each individual colour than you can buy in store.

This is a playdough recipe that I found and I modified.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Store Your Homemade Playdough

I store my playdough in a resealable container such as a ziplock bag or any storage container with a lid. Storing it in this way allows it to last for months!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How do you fix sticky playdough?

If you find your play dough is too sticky, add a small amount of flour to your hands as you knead it. Continue adding very small amounts at a time while kneading. You don’t want to add too much flour otherwise it may get too dry.

How to rehydrate your playdough?

If your play dough is too dry or has dried out slightly after play, add a small amount of oil to your hands and knead it into the playdough. Continue adding oil at intervals while kneading until you have achieved the desired consistency.

I also like to add a little extra oil to my playdough. Just a few drops more than the 2 tablespoons. I find this makes the playdough softer and increases its longevity.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Make vibrant Playdough?

To make vibrantly coloured playdough, use more food colouring. i.e. 12-15 drops of food colouring.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to make Pastel Coloured Playdough?

To make pastel colours use less food colouring about 6-8 drops.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

Food coloring and staining?

The food colouring in the playdough should not stain your child’s hands or their clothing.

What type of oil to use?

I usually use vegetable oil to make playdough but you can use any type of cooking.

How do you make playdough more fun?

Creating a playdough invitation (an enticing play set up with tools and manipulatives that is irresistible to little hands) is super easy. Here are the basics that I use to create fun and engaging playdough set ups for my kids:

  1. Tools. They will need tools in order to manipulate the playdough. Tools such as knives to cut, rollers to flatten it or cookie cutters to create. But you don’t have to buy tools, kitchen tools work swimmingly as well!
  1. A Theme. This isn’t necessary but I find it helps you decide what items and/or colours to include in the set up. Check out this post for a 40+ of amazing play dough themes and set up ideas.
The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

3. Manipulatives. This is the real fun part. These are the items you can include for your child to use with the playdough to decorate, embellish and create. Here are some ideas:

  • Small Toys
  • Twigs or small sticks or craft sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • LEGO or duplo
  • Buttons
  • Wooden blocks
  • Pony beads
  • Rocks or glass stones
  • Marbles
  • Dried pasta
  • Toy trees
  • DIY cardboard stamps
  • Letter stamps
  • Beans or seeds

What items would you include?

Tips for Making the Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

Here are a few tips for making sure your playdough is the best it can be:

  1. Make sure your salt is fine salt. I usually buy dollar store salt to use in playdough and sometimes the consistancy isn’t as good as other brands. If you find larger chunks in your salt try tossing it into a grinder to make it as fine as possible. Another way to prevent the salt chunks from making it into your playdough is by dissolving it to the boiling water before adding it to the flour. Now this is not absolutely necessary. I have made amazing playdough with chunky salt but I usually end up picking out the larger bits of salt from the playdough.
  2. White flour makes the best play dough.
  3. Make sure your water is hot – straight out of the kettle.


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  • 2 Cups of white all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 + 1/2 cups of boiling water (may need slightly less)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (plus a few extra drops)
  • Food colouring
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon

The Best No-Cook Playdough Recipe

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Mix to combine.
  1. In a separate container, combine the 1 cup of boiling water, food colouring and oil.
  1. Add this to the flour mixture. Mix to combine.
  1. Pour an additional 1/2 cup of boiling water in the container and add additional food colouring, if desired. Add the boiling water to the large bowl a small amount at a time and mix until you have reached the desired consistency. You may not need all the water.
  2. Let it mixture cool before you pick it up and knead it. Knead, knead, knead. Knead it until all its smooth and soft!

6. Enjoy your playdough!


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